South Asian Citizen Journalism
A Content Analysis of News Diversity
Abstract – With the rise of internet literacy across the world, ordinary people are increasingly participating in the news media more than ever before. Early speculations about the influence of citizen journalism imbued the practice with an almost messianic ability to save both journalism and democracy. Whilst these suggestions were influenced by a small amount of data analysis, mainly from Western countries, they were encouraging and demonstrated the potential of citizen journalism offering the voice of the voiceless. Analysing the coverage of citizen journalism news published on twenty-four sites from the member countries of South Asia, this paper discusses citizen journalism from a comparative perspective. The results show that the largest amount of news coverage is political news (24%) and fiction and literary work (24%), followed by general news (20%), and sports and entertainment (10%). On the other hand, the coverage of crime news — a popular news subject in the mainstream media in the West — and war and terrorism make up less than 3% of the total news.
Keywords: citizen journalism, journalism, news content, news media, South Asia